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The president addressed Trump’s victory from the Rose Garden at the White House at 12:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Joined by Vice President Joe Biden, he stressed the need for a peaceful transition as he passes the POTUS baton to Trump.
Noting that he and Trump have had big differences — Trump promised to repeal many of Obama’s achievements over the past eight years — Obama now said “we all want what’s best for this country.” He said the point is that we all go forward with a presumption of good faith in all citizens. Stressing unity and patriotism above all else, he sais that’s how the country has moved forward in the past and he’s confident that the incredible American journey will continue.
Obama spoke to the earlier confirmation from the White House that he called Trump early Wednesday to congratulate him. Obama said the pair planned to meet Thursday at the White House.
Earlier, Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said Obama called Trump while he was speaking to his supporters in New York, and so Trump called him back after he left the stage. She said the two had what she described as a “very nice talk.”
Obama said he also called Hillary Clinton to convey his admiration for the “strong campaign she waged throughout the country.”
Ahead of Obama’s address, Clinton delivered a poignant concession speech, where she choked back tears as she accepted defeat.
“I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too,” she said Wednesday to her room of supporters at Manhattan’s New Yorker Hotel. To everyone she said: “This is painful and it will be for a long time.”
Like Obama, she stressed the need for a peaceful transition while encouraging all voters to continue to fight for an inclusive America.
We must accept this result and then look to the future. We owe [Donald Trump] an open mind and a chance to lead.” (Watch the speech here.)
Clinton privately conceded the presidency to Trump in a phone call early Wednesday morning, a stunning end to a campaign that appeared poised right up until Election Day to make her the nation’s first female president. In his remarks to supporters, Trump praised her for a hard-fought campaign and said Americans owe her a major debt of gratitude for her long service to the country.
Clinton called Trump after it became clear that the celebrity businessman had won enough states to capture the White House. But she made no public appearance before supporters who had gathered under the glass ceiling of New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center planning to celebrate what was expected to be her historic victory. Clinton planned to make a statement later Wednesday morning. “We’re still counting votes and every vote should count,” campaign chairman John Podesta said in brief remarks before the shrinking audience. “Several states are still close to call and we’re not going to have anything more to say tonight.”
On Wednesday, Clinton’s campaign announced that the Democratic nominee would address the nation first at 9:30 a.m. ET and then at 10:30 a.m. The concessin speech, which didn’t begin until after 11 a.m., was described as a “message of healing.”
During his acceptance speech, Trump vowed late Wednesday night to unify a deeply divided nation, having scored a stunning victory backed by extraordinary support from working-class America.
The tough-talking New York billionaire claimed victories in the nation’s premier battleground states, but his appeal across the industrial Midwest — Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, in particular — sealed a victory that defied pre-election polls and every expectation of the political establishment.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 9, 2016
“I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump told supporters gathered in a Manhattan hotel near his Trump Tower campaign headquarters.
“For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country,” he said, the stage crowded with family and his most loyal allies.
Trump addressed the nation after sweeping most of the nation’s top battlegrounds — and created some new ones.
He won Ohio, Florida and North Carolina. He also took down the Democratic Party’s “blue firewall” by scoring victories in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that haven’t supported a Republican presidential candidate since 1988 and 1984, respectively.
Trump’s win shocked political professionals and global financial markets alike. But it created pure joy inside the hotel ballroom where hundreds of Trump supporters waited for hours for his celebration speech. They hugged each other, chanted “USA!” and bellowed “God bless America” at the top of their lungs.
House Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump on Tuesday night to congratulate him on his “incredible victory.”
“We are eager to work hand-in-hand with the new administration to advance an agenda to improve the lives of the American people,” Ryan, who had a rocky relationship with Trump at times, said in a statement. “This has been a great night for our party, and now we must turn our focus to bringing the country together.”
While Clinton was trying to make history as the first female president, Trump made a different kind of history as one of the least experienced presidential candidates ever elected. A businessman and former reality TV star, he is a true political outsider in a way that marks a sharp break from past presidents.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 9, 2016
Trump’s outsider status ultimately helped him politically far more than it hurt. His political inexperience allowed him to cast himself as a change agent just as frustrated voters in both parties were hungry for change. The message was particularly effective against Clinton, a fixture in public service over the last three decades. Ever the showman, his strategy relied almost exclusively on massive rallies to connect with voters, ignoring the grunt work that typically fuels successful campaigns.
Pre-election polls suggested he was the least popular presidential nominee in the modern era.
In his first tweet as president at 6:36 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning, Trump said: “Such a beautiful and important evening! The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before.”
Such a beautiful and important evening! The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2016
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President Joe Biden